When I was 11 years old, I had a counselor named Cyd who was artistic, mature, intelligent, and downright hilarious. I was always a little bit wise beyond my years, and having a counselor who recognized that was a huge perk. She saw in me things I hadn't seen in my 11-year-old self. I kept in contact with her summer after summer, even though she never returned back to Harand. In my more recent years as a junior counselor, I tried to pass on to my campers the same respect and esteem she held for me as a young girl.
When I got accepted to Boston University, Cyd reached out to me on Facebook, informing me that she, too, was a Boston Terrier and was still residing in the city post-graduation. She told me to Skype her when I was available.
Last night, we finally found a time to talk in between my insane school schedule and her very busy adult life. We didn't just "catch up." We talked for three hours covering everything from camp gossip to academia to Boston to life. She gave me fantastic advice about school, BU, and life itself. She is very successful doing what she loves, but she told me she never would have gotten where she is if she didn't step outside her comfort zone. One quote that really stuck with me was when she told me "you never want to get too comfortable because then you never stop pushing." It seems like no matter how many years go by, my camp counselors never stop their stream of insight from entering my life.
After meditating on her advice and reflecting on the impact I had on my campers, I stumbled upon the Instagram account of one camper in particular. 11-year-old Ruthie was everything I wished I was at that age. Her bio reads "charming, charismatic, smart 5th grade intellectual if I do say so myself." She posted pictures tonight of the State of the Union address and refers to herself as a "gay marriage supporter and feminist extraordinaire." She's 11, people. I hope that the wisdom and trust I received from Cyd contributed to Ruthie's fabulousness. I hope that Ruthie eventually inspires another little girl to share three generations of love, intellect, and respect. That's what I like to call the "Harand Complex."
|Ruthie and I, looking classy in white lace at the Harand Banquet.|